Westell UltraLine Series3 9100VM configuration tips
Wanting to make changes to the wifi and DNS settings of the new routers that Cincinnati Bell (CB) is routinely installing now, I went about researching and using trial and error. The goal was to implement WPA2 wifi security and OpenDNS at a router level, so as to help clients be a bit more secure.
Overview of high speed modem/router
Near as I can tell, Cincinnati Bell is using its installed fiber in urban locations to offer a high speed internet, combined with television channels via internet, so-called IPTV. Westell has long been a provider of equipment to our local phone company and this device is meant to offer “Advanced, dual-core processing power with Ethernet, MoCA, or VDSL2 WAN interface for fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-curb networks.” (link) These are hunka-chunka, white bricks and I’ll leave it to others to show us what’s actually inside them and perhaps explain their hugeness.
Getting access to advanced settings
As made clear on Westell’s web site their stuff is marketed to ISP’s, not thru retail / wholesale channels. As such, finding a manual is like pulling teeth. I must give credit to others’ posts on for helping me just figure out the interface and that you need to click on menus up top AND on the left.)
First: Set wifi to WPA2
Cincinnati Bell routinely sets up WEP, even though it’s known to be useless in the face of hacks. (To their credit, they used to always be setup as unsecured / open!) But, WEP lets customers use older equipment, especially gaming systems, so I suppose it cuts down on support calls. Setup was pretty straightforward. Just point to the IP of the gateway (seems like CB or Westell has a tradition of making this 192.168.200.1) and input the default admin password of (you guessed it) “admin” and “password”. Using wireless button, wireless settings menu option (on left) set to WPA2, with PSK (Pre-Shared Key) and using AES encryption algorithm.
On to OpenDNS
I won’t go into all the benefits of OpenDNS, but will just talk about configuring it on the UltraLine Series3 . Note that OpenDNS usually does a pretty good job of explaining this stuff at their site, but it didn’t have anything about this device when I last visited.
a. OpenDNS setup with account (not described here)
b. OpenDNS software (not described here)
c. Westell Router settings:
i. On top, My Network
ii. On left, Network Connection
iii. Click WAN VDSL, either the main link or the pencil
iv. On left, click Settings
v. Change DNS Server option
1. From Obtain DNS Server Addresses Automatically
2. To settings Use the following DNS server addresses
a. 126.96.36.199 and
vi. Test by resetting router (Advance menu and Reboot) and resetting computer’s network connection.
d. Save Westell configuration
i. At top, Advanced
ii. Do you want to proceed? Yes
iii. Configuration file option
iv. At bottom, Save Configuration File
v. Downloads a file called Wireless Broadband Configuration.conf. Put this someplace safe.
Here’s a pic of the Settings page: